This post was originally published March 6, 2011. In it I published a WordPress ping list and an explanation on what I had done to vet it. However 2 years later I drastically reduced my ping list when I found out that pinging many (and potentially spammy) services might actually hurt your Google rankings.
What is a WordPress Ping List?
Whenever you publish a new post or make edits to your existing ones, WordPress will send a notification (called a ping) to the services on your ping list to let them know about your new or updated post. It’s been a good way to get the word out about your blog.
WordPress out of the box comes set up to notify one service rpc.pingomatic.com, and users can add to the list in the writing settings, as many bloggers have. However there are much better ways to notify Google of your new page or post.
If you search on “WordPress Ping List” you will find a lot of lists you can use. Even the WordPress codex has a pointer to an article with an extensive list. So we all thought it was good idea to add more (a lot more) services to the list in your WordPress writing settings.
However this might hurt your rankings, as Viperchill found out, and none other than Matt Cutts confirmed that Google looks negatively on many of those services.
Here’s what Glenn (Viperchill blogger) said about his “Weird Tip from Matt Cutts” in his Future of Blogging blog post:
Though I wasn’t pinging the services Matt asked me about, I was pinging a few with a foreign domain extension that he had mentioned and a lot of others, so I decided to remove all but a couple of them from my list. A few days later and my rankings were back where they should be.
So here’s my new WordPress Ping List:
Update, Feb. 26, 2019: I removed ping.blog.jp from this list because it appears to be dead.
Yes, that’s it. Instead of 131 services I now have
three two. And quite frankly, having your XML sitemap in place and submitted to Google is way more important than having a more complete ping list with a couple of extra services that might get turned off tomorrow. It’s a reflection on how much things have changed in Google-land to see these previously useful tactics turn into bombs (blog carnivals anyone?) that you now have to fix.
Do you need to worry about excessive pinging?
I also found a number of articles that told me I needed to fix “excessive pinging” by WordPress. These recommend plugins such as WordPress Ping Optimizer to prevent edits to posts from pinging. The theory goes is that you need to fix WordPress to not ping so frequently, especially in the situation where you are updating frequently to fix typos and adjust a recently published post. So do you really need to install this or a similar plugin to avoid getting banned due to excessive pinging from multiple edits to your posts?
This was the question I asked myself, and the answer wasn’t readily available. Sure if you go into your blog and update hundreds of your posts a day with little changes just to make your content “fresh” for the search engines, that might cause problems, but for most “real” bloggers that isn’t what we do. And I don’t want to disable pings for edits, at least not all the time. Especially when I substantially rewrite an older post, like I’m doing right now, to bring it up to date.
With each release WordPress has become more sophisticated and even SEO friendly. So I really wondered if it was pinging each time I edited a post. I found my answer by looking at the actual code, namely the
cron.php file in wp-includes. What really happens is that WordPress schedules the ping when you make a change, and doesn’t schedule any more pings in the next 10 minutes. So if you make six changes within 10 minutes, only one ping occurs.
And if you happen to update a post 15 minutes later from the initial publish date, I don’t think it is the end of the world. But you might want to be mindful of your editing activities and try to fix all your typos in one go rather than updating the post for each change.
Just wanted to thank you for this post. I was wondering if I had all the right ping services in my blog.
One issue I am having is that when I had my blog hosted on wordpress sites would automatically show a trackback if I mentioned them. Now, even though I still use the wordpress platform, I am not getting trackbacks on sites like HotAir. I am not sure what happened.
Anyway. thanks for this post
Great post. We have our own custom CMS, and I’ve been told by my SEO consultant that I need something that pings sites when a user posts a blog, news item, and even a page. Do you know if they all use XML-RPC with the method weblogUpdates.extendedPing and the same parameters?
Great question. To be honest I don’t know. I would dig into the wordpress code to figure out what it is doing, I do know it is using XML-RPC. One thing to think about is that if you update the same page a lot, you might need to put a governor so that there are not multiple pings for the same page, which could get you labeled as a spammer.
Thanks for the list. It will be very helpful for me.
Updated this post to radically reduce the number of services in the ping list and to address the question of excessive pinging.
I’m curious, if pingomatic pings the ping server for Google Blog Search, then doesn’t that mean that the server is being pinged twice when a post is made? Could that not be a potentially risky, given how easy it is to be labelled a spammer?
Having said that, I may have stepped outside by area of expertise so I would appreciate any comments on the matter.
It’s a really good question since pingomatic appears to ping Google Blog Search. If you are worried about it, I would remove google blog search from the ping list. If you are submitting your XML sitemap via Google Webmaster Tools, that’s Google’s (and Bing’s) preferred way to find you anyway. However if you are one of those bloggers that doesn’t consistently post then a ping might help get the Search Engines to come back to your site sooner. After some thought I’m going to keep it in since my level of activity is rather low (once or twice week). It’s also true that pingomatic is often down and even blocked by the search engines – so a ping to pingomatic doesn’t always mean it makes it to Google.
Thanks for your post. I have made changes and I am using just the three ping services above. I am delighted by your fresh insight into this excessive pinging thing. Your post brought me great comfort in that area. Again, thanks and keep up the great job.
Thanks Kathy for sharing this wonderful piece of info.
After setting up my WordPress blog I always seek for a big ping list. But never ever thought that it may be problematic my blog ranking.
You’re are extremely right. Many ping website are poor and Spam and google takes them negatively. This will effect even our website if we add them in our list. 🙂
Glad you found the post useful!
I like the post and has a lot of logic in it. I’ve only had one time Pingomatic and it was ok .Thank you.
OK, just after adding 300+ services to ping, I read your post and decided to cut it down to only 3!
I’ll be very interested to see if it makes a difference.
Did you notice if it made a difference? Are you still with the same few ping servers? Thanks.
Personally my pages and site seem to rank better by pinging the 50 or so links I have set to be pinged than the 3 you use. I think often it all depends on the situation.
Thanks for the feedback. I think it is Ok to do more than the 3 as long as you vet the additional ones you add. Some of them don’t work or treated as spammy by Google.
I love this lists! Thank you
Thanks for the ping list. I watched other sites are suggesting 100’s of ping services, but i think you’re right it will penalize the rankings.
An Interesting view on pinging. I like many others had been advised to avoid WP from pinging when making adjustments to a post or page as this could lead to being de-indexed by the google search engines. Also I too started out bu using a large ping list and have reduced it to only a few.
Thank you very much for the ping list. I added it it to my WP just now.
I am wondering do you know what is the latest status of the Update Services? I know that the posts were being pinged even when they were edited. Is it still the case.
Yes, pinging will happen if you edit the post.
This list was useful to me
Thank you so much for the list.
Kathy, thank you for this well thought out and clearly delivered post. I have become a serial blogger 🙂 and love it!
But there is so much techie stuff that I don’t know and frankly don’t care to know.
However, I do realize that what you don’t know can hurt you.
I appreciate that you took the time to save me from myself.
Especially about being mindful of my post correction frequency and the
possibility of being penalized.
I found this post when looking for an updated pinging list and I’m glad I did. No more long lists. The 3 you’ve provided will do nicely TYVM…
Great resource and article!
thank you for the share
Thanks for the valuable post and suggestion . My blog ping list was too big . I had listed almost every ping site to my blog . Now going to remove them and use use only the best of them .
Do you still use just the 3? Any update, or the same 3?
Also, I do you use the optimizer,
and the log seems to be catching my frequent edits.
Yep, I still use just the 3. I think having a XML sitemap registered with GWMT is the best way to get Google’s attention to your new posts. I don’t use the Optimizer for the reasons I mention in the post.
Thank you so much for the list.
Is your recommended list still the same? I’ll use your short one unless you have updated it.
Thanks in advance.
Yes, since it’s been a while since I wrote this post, I did a quick review, and I’m sticking with my short one. In fact I removed ping.blog.jp because it is no longer responding. If for some reason, Google is not crawling and indexing your site, more pinging is not going to fix it.
Thanks for asking!
What a surprise thihihi – I was like you using a long pinglist and updated this every year.
Your new LIST is super – I totally agree. Thanks for sharing and updating it!
I’ll use it wisely – and do send updates should a #3 get added … Thihihi
Nice information, well written article. Actually I am going to look for the over pinging factor you highlighted. Thanks for sharing.